CSU To Reach Out to Military Veterans to Help Transition to College

Contact: Claudia Keith, (562) 951-4813, ckeith@calstate.edu
Clara Potes-Fellow (562) 951-4806, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

(April 6, 2006) -- The California State University has pledged to work with Governor Schwarzenegger and California’s military base commanders to reach out to military men and women who are exiting the service to facilitate their transition to college.

Last month Schwarzenegger announced the formation of the Veterans Education Opportunities Partnership, which will create a model for veterans’ education by developing an academic outreach, admission and enrollment plan that targets and assists the approximately 60,000 California veterans exiting military service each year. The partnership will consist of senior administration officials, military leaders, and leaders of the CSU, University of California, and California Community College systems.

“We want California to be the most friendly state from a college and university standpoint to veterans in the United States,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “Many of these veterans fit the profile of a typical California State University student, so we believe we have a lot to offer them.”

According to the Governor’s office, the partnership will seek to work cooperatively to provide education opportunities to veterans who are either California residents or are stationed in California at the time of their exit from the military; to improve outreach, information, and education counseling to exiting veterans, and to expand the use of the priority admission allowance for veterans.

The Governor’s Office reports that California is home to 175,000 active military personnel and one in nine of all the men and women serving in the U.S. military are in California. California also has the nation’s largest state military force, with over 20,000 Air and Army Guard personnel, over 3,000 of whom are currently deployed worldwide. More than 96 percent of military personnel enroll in the federal Montgomery G.I. bill programs, yet currently only 50 percent of veterans take advantage of these benefits.

Reed said that the CSU would focus increased attention on dual enrollment programs with community colleges that would allow those veterans to enroll simultaneously at a community college and a CSU campus.

He added that the effort would provide an opportunity for the CSU to respond to the state’s need for more math and science teachers and health professionals.

“We believe we can respond to the governor’s call to increase the number of math and science teachers by recruiting more math and science experts to go into teaching from this group,” said Reed. “The governor has also asked us to produce more nurses, and this is a natural place for us to recruit in the health professions.”

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 84,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: April 6, 2006

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